Placater in Family Systems
A placater is a person who adopts a relational pattern and behavior of appeasement, deference, and submission in interpersonal relationships where power and decision-making are involved.
Theoretical Context for Concept
Virginia Satir (Satir and Baldwin 1983) was the first to describe the dysfunctional aspects of placating patterns in the family system and the impact of this on both placater and those around him. She saw placating as one of four incongruent communication styles (placating, blaming, super-reasonable, and irrelevant) that prevent clear and authentic communication within a relational system especially an intimate group such as the family. For Satir (Satir et al. 1991), developing authenticity and congruence is a basic goal of good therapy. It consists of the ability to respond from an authentic inner place by recognizing and expressing one’s true feelings, a willingness to honor the feelings and needs of the other(s), and an appreciation of the context. She...